It's unfortunate that when people become successful, there are always the jealous waiting on the wings to tear them down and exaggerate every flaw. Today was one of those days for Flickr. You can tell things are fishy when the people complaining loudest about a company aren't its users but its competitors. We have

  1. There's Thomas Hawk who writes There's Some Mighty Pissed Off Flickr Members Right Now

    [I am CEO of Zooomr]

    Flickr needs to reverse the asinine decisions made today to force people to merge their accounts with Yahoo and to place new limits on your contacts and tags.

    Here are some of the more interesting comments pulled over the past few hours from two flickr forums where they are taking a beating over this right now.

    People are pissed.

  2. And There's Don MacAskill who doesn't just stop at gloating stoking the flames reporting on the problems at a competitor's service. In his post The Dark Side of the Flickr Acquisition where he writes

    You asked for it, you got it: SmugMug is offering 50% off to all Flickr refugees. Just sign up for our free trial using the coupon code flickr and if you like what you see, you’ll get 50% off your first year.

    We’re getting some email from ‘Old Skool’ Flickr users asking us if they can get a discount because Yahoo’s making some changes they don’t like. Thomas Hawk has more coverage over on his blog, you can read the Flickr Forums for more reactions, and even check out the Flick Off group (aka the Flickr Accounts Mass Suicide Countdown group).

I looked at the announced Flickr changes and didn't see anything particularly shocking. For performance/architectural reasons, they are limiting people to having 3000 buddies and 75 tags. That sucks but it isn't the end of the world. If anything, it just points out the architectural limits of Flickr's backend to competitors but those limits should be fine for most users. The second issue seems to be that you'll soon need a Yahoo! ID to access Flickr. As Anil Dash states in his post I am okay with my Yahoo sign-in, people have known this for months so it shouldn't be a surprise and they've encouraging people to get a Yahoo! login on the sign-in page for a while now.

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the "aggrieved users" are actually astroturfers from competing Web 2.0 photo sharing sites.


Thursday, February 1, 2007 2:19:34 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I wondered the same thing about the aggrieved users (being one who doesn't like the Yahoo changes, mostly for principles). However in the least it was clear they are mostly "Pro" users, meaning they are paying clients. Of course, I suppose some could be employees of other companies. However, I think a lot is genuine, because it certainly is for me.
Thursday, February 1, 2007 7:34:57 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I'm not arguing with you on your point about the vultures, but I do know there's a lot of angry Pro (paying) customers who are not happy about the changes, including me. I prefer to keep all my logins separate which is why I don't like schemes like Microsoft's (now-defunct) Passport system, Yahoo's ID, and the new OpenID. But SmugMug is still too expensive for me, and I think that Zooomr has an even more confusing login system, which rules both of those out, so I guess I'm stuck with Flickr (especially since I only just renewed my account!) I blogged about this earlier here:
(feel free to delete the link if you think I'm just spamming!)
Thursday, February 1, 2007 11:49:09 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
A friend of mine found out about being forced to use a Yahoo! id yesterday and said "It's like being expelled from the garden of Eden". People can get pretty passionate about this sort of stuff.
Thursday, February 1, 2007 12:19:21 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I posted the following comment on Thomas Hawk's screed:

"Thomas, since you clearly feel strongly about this issue, and you are the CEO of Zooomr, would you be willing to go on record making the following pledge:

Should Zooomr ever be acquired by another company, the terms of that acquisition will guarantee that Zooomr logins will not be merged and/or otherwise replaced with any login system[s] operated by the acquiring company for its Web sites or applications.


Seems like that would be something he'd have no problem saying YES to, if he really does think this is such a big deal. If it's so bad, he would never do the same thing to Zooomr users. Right?

Unsurprisingly, he has yet to respond.
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